Can You Decrystallize Honey in the Microwave?

published Mar 13, 2016
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

I currently have no less than half a dozen jars of honey in my pantry. Yes, some might call that a bit of an addiction, but that hasn’t stopped my collection from growing. They’re all different varietals, from orange blossom to chestnut to even wild raspberry. I drizzle them on yogurt, stir them into cocktails, and bake with them.

Over time, however, I’ve found some of my honey begins to crystalize in the jar. This is actually a good thing; it’s a sign that the honey is completely natural and hasn’t been overheated, watered down, filtered, or mishandled. Some of my jars were even crystallized when I bought them. While I love spreading thick crystallized honey, with it’s pleasant crunch and texture, on toast, sometimes I want it back in its more runny form for drizzling. So what’s the best way to restore it?

(Image credit: Camille Storch)

The Original Tip

There are all sorts of recommendations on how to decrystallize honey. One method I came across seemed extra quick and simple: Heat the jar in the microwave for a few seconds to soften and re-liquify it.

Read the Original Tip: 14 Who-Knew? Uses for Your Microwave: Decrystallizing Honey from Real Simple

The Testing Method

I tried the method with a half-empty jar of honey that had once been pourable, but was now completely crystallized. The original tip recommended that the jar be heated on medium heat for 30 seconds to one minute. I heated it at 50 percent power for 30 seconds, and then gave it a stir. For my particular jar, it only took that amount of time for it to be back to its original runny state.

The Results

Yes, this method worked, but I wasn’t completely convinced after I tested it. I drizzled a little over my morning yogurt, but after I finished my breakfast, I noticed that the rest of the honey in the jar was already solidifying as it cooled on the counter.

The next day it was completely crystallized again and I had to microwave it once more. But the same thing happened — it only stayed runny for as long as the honey retained the heat from the microwave.

Since I am someone who takes my honey pretty seriously, I also began to worry that all of this repeated heat might be destroying the integrity of my natural honey, as one of the things that makes true, natural honey so special is that it hasn’t been overheated or altered with, which damages its flavor and potential health benefits.

Verdict: I’ll stick to other methods instead.

Final Note

If I need to decrystallize my honey again in the future, I’ll look to the gentler method (placing the jar in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water and stirring it until it’s back to the consistency I need). It may take a little longer, but the honey stays decrystallized for a longer period and there’s no risk of overheating it.

Have you every tried to decrystallize honey? Do you enjoy eating it in its crystallized form?